Second Life Community

Getting into a Second Life community seems like a very simple thing to do when you think about how many people are connected to Second Life and how many different virtual environments there are to explore. However the main thing I have found while searching throughout these worlds were that most people come together at events or gatherings that they had set up prior to the time.

The first location that I went to was the Barney Stone Irish Bar after seeing an event posted on the Second Life website for a Biker’s DJ night. It was a Social and entertainment event hosted by a women named Clarissa Yumako and she had a whole crowd of people dancing to her music. Once I arrived I was welcomed in and asked to dance with the others. She asked in the chat if I’d like to request a song for the dance floor so I told her to play ACDC High way to Hell, which I thought was quite a biker themed song. The song ended and she announced through her microphone “this one is for BobbleHead93 (my avatar name) high way to hell”

It was great seeing everyone else’s reactions to the music and if they enjoyed it or not. Sadly some didn’t like the song so we got into the discussion of why they didn’t like it while we danced on the stage. All of the fun ended quite quickly after I was trying to change my clothing and ended up completely nude on the dance floor by hitting the wrong button. With a serious panic from everyone in the chat I teleported home. Spending a good while listening and talking about everyone’s music tastes turned out to really fun in the end.

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The second place I went to was called the Mysts of Eyra, a role playing fantasy world full of hidden path ways and vibrant colour. I had been here before in the past but I hadn’t taken part in the role play due to me honestly not knowing what to say or do. Once I arrived I knew I needed to go to the tavern to meet people. There were a few people sitting at the bar on the way in talking about how there ship had crashed and they washed up on the shore not far from there. I saw that as a chance to jump in to the story and make up my own background for being there. I walked to the bar and said I was stowed away on that same ship and thought I was the only one who survived.

I never knew how you can get so lost in a story if there are others that help create it as you talk about it. We talked about where we were from and where we were going when the ship crashed until I went a little off topic. I was wearing a piece of women’s hair on my avatars chin at the time and made a story of how I came here to remove it. I spoke of how I’d searched for years to find someone skilled enough to remove it because it was actually my twin sister’s skull attached to me.

I got some strange laughs and looks through the chat for a while but one women spoke up and told me there was a medic hut next door with a healer that could help if needed. Having to write facial expressions and my mood in the chat as I spoke it all sounded quite poetic as I told them how I had seen many mages but I had not tried a healer.

Thanking the women as I left I detached the hair by the medics hut and came back. Sadly I they all had left before I got to talk to them again, which was a real shame because I would’ve really enjoyed carrying on the role play with these ship wrecked pirates.

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This is the link that shows the Mysts of Eyr on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJRqWJZFfCI

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Location 2: Mists of Eyra

This was an extremely different world compared to all the other worlds I had visited in Second life, most of all because of the people. You get teleported into a lobby type area covered with Inca type wall carvings and pillars like something out of an Indiana Jones movie. As it slowly generated information in I could tell it definitely wasn’t like other worlds. It was a Role Play based virtual world that I had entered into and I didn’t really know what to expect once I found others inside the large glowing portal in front of me.

Once inside I decided to go explore, trying not to break any of the rules set out by the creator. I was greeted by large beautifully colored mountain’s covered in vibrant trees and flowers while a river passed through them. Each track I seemed to follow lead me to a new amazing place e.g. an underground pirate prison, massive temples and even tree houses. One tree house was a bar named “the Swig”, where I meet an avatar name Kristi Susanwa.

Kristi was the bar keep, she was friendly and was extremely helpful. I told her about my experience in the world so far and she gladly showed me more and answered any questions I had about the build and its main purpose. She said it was a high-fantasy RP Sim set in the mists beneath a jungle and how many people come here to join teams or “Clans” and talk about their own side of the history of the world, creating a huge back story and how the different types of avatars came to be. It was great having someone so helpful and to allow me to learn so much about role playing.

The creator was Annie Ibanez and she created it just to have people come and experience her ideal fantasy world but it seemed to take on a life of its own. The admins have kept up to date with the people and their needs by updating and adding new things to get people talking and interested. For example I stumbled across a large cave entrance with a small icon of a magnifying glass floating on the ground, after clicking on it a message appears describing what you could find if you carry on exploring stating “you hear scurrying noises coming from deep within and webs cover every wall”. Obviously your first though is there are spiders inside and then you become interested in seeing it for yourself. Something so simple really drags the user’s attention in such a simple way.

Location 1: Second Health Service

This is an educational virtual world that offers many advantages to studying medication, mental and physical health. It is an exceptionally large world and extremely detailed rooms for learning.  This virtual world has been made by the UKs publicly funded healthcare system, known as NHS and offers guided tours of each of each subject.

In my time there, I was accompanied by an avatar that would take me to each room and tell me a brief overview of what can be learn in that specific place. If I wished to learn more I could simply ask a question to the avatar or stay longer and read the information placed on certain objects throughout the rooms. Depending on the room you enter, you will find full detailed patients beds fitted with everything from the patient waiting room to the textured clip boards at the end of the medial beds.

As you search this place you realise how large the world around you really is, each part has been designed to house a specific medical study, some even built with their own tour e.g. the Polyclinic tour. It will take you through Paediatrics, GP clinic, Dermatology, Gastroenterology, Endocrinology, Neurology, and cardiology all in one building. The area is a ring of buildings with a tranquil park in the centre that gives is a great feeling to the user entering the facility.

What I really love about this world is that is shows how much can be done in a virtual world with having next to none costs involved into it. In this world Surgeons have held conferences for the international Virtual Association of surgeons and were about to give their insight into what each other have been working with and ideas through the chat and video presentations. Anything like this being held in real life would cost a great deal of money to set up a facility and have each member fly to a specific location in the world to watch it being presented, even then the surgeons wouldn’t be able to fully push their ideas and concerns forward to one another. In my opinion by having these types of conferences in a virtual world they can achieve so much more than a conference in real life.

Viewer 2: Firestorm

Firestorm is a third party Second life viewer that you can download to your computer to run Second Life. Much like the Second life viewer Firestorm allows you to quickly enter second life with ease. Even though Firestorm is a 3rd party client program there is no real change between the two.

Firestorm is actually one of the leading viewers out there, even outdoing the second life viewer itself. According to linden labs studies have been proven is more stable and more reliable. In my opinion though the second life viewer seems to be a lot faster to load the viewer and enter second life as well.

There is also many other options to the viewer menu, new updates and bug fixes are a great insight to see what they are fixing and having problems with. Sadly the other options are the exact same as the second life viewer.

I have found something quite amazing that you can access through firestorm and that’s Media-on-a-Prim. It’s a new way to have video streaming and even websites attached to prims e.g. I could rez in a cube and attach my email url to it. I would be able to use my email in second life, it’s amazing!

Viewer 1: Second life Viewer

The second Life viewer is a way to access the multi- user virtual environments of Second Life. It’s a Client program that Linden Labs (Creators of Second Life) allow the users download onto their computers. By doing this the client program will be able to access the internet and then the Linden Labs servers.

When the user downloads this application they are able to enter Second life extremely fast and through a very reliable source meaning the user wont experience as many bugs while logging in or crashes.

In my experience with this viewer it has been extremely helpful especially when updates are needed for it. I’m given warnings about the update needed in second life and what bugs it fixes but unfortunately the first time I noticed these updates I ignored them and went into second life I had many glitches happen within minutes. Once I logged out and updated the program everything worked faster and had no glitches at all.

The main menu page also gives you a huge number of options of the editor’s picks of user created worlds that get updated regularly. They give a new user like myself a great way to access really amazing, well-built worlds and be able to meet new people.

The best thing in this viewer is the fact that it can hold your username, Password and destination which means I can start the viewer, click the log in button and within 30seconds, im logged in and moving around within second life.

Platform 2: Kitely

Kitely is an open virtual world simulator platform by two brilliant individuals with the goal to create a online community through virtual worlds and allow the users to create their own avatars/ worlds to be immersed in.

IIan Tochner the co-founder and CEO and Oren Hurvitz the other co-founder and VPR&D started creating this Virtual world simulator in 2008 but it took them till 2011 to push the beta out to the public making sure they had all bases covered to let the users enter and start creating their own worlds.

There are huge advantages to using these type of virtual worlds from training and educational purposes to Machinima or cinematic productions. There are countless ways to use these virtual worlds to achieve many selective goals throughout the virtual community but the main thing that is great about Kitely is that there is always someone out there to help you get the most out of what you as the user as trying to achieve. Kitely gives the user full access to the forums/community that will take on board any questions or suggestions that help resolve the issue at hand.

Exploring worlds is a great way to experience other people’s creations from all around the world, gain ideas and get make your imagination start overflowing with what you could achieve. Some worlds are exact replicas of a specific places in the world that holds information relevant to the location e.g. history, events or their culture. This is a great way to learn more about the place you want to travel to or are just interested in learning more about. In an educational point of view this is a huge step forward to allowing students to take in a lot of information while being there and experiencing it, even if it is in a virtual world.

Platform 1 : Unity3d

Unity3d is a Platform for Multi user virtual environments and is a huge step for anyone with a creative side to them. There are countless things to explore throughout this software from game development, character development and being able to apply any of your creations to several industry leading multiplatforms.

It was developed by Unity Technology’s in 2005, since then there have been 5 progressive updates on the software to enhance the user’s production and experience. They have made unity be able to create applications for console, PC mobile devices and now even VR (Virtual Reality) head set. With over 600 million people using this software and expanding the team that created this software is trying to update and grow Unity3d to keep that number growing.

The software they have created is user friendly and provides step by step tutorials for beginners, each step along the process will help the user create the content they have been striving to achieve and countless other options that the user might not have thought of to apply. Using texture rendering software the user is able to design very life like virtual worlds and textures that will encapsulate the people viewing the content.

Each Step along the way of your build you will never be alone, there is a full community that works with Unity to support and resolve any issues that you could be facing while creating your master piece. The online website has a full forum for questions, answers and anything new that is brought up and resolved will be added to the collection for others to be able to look over if they have the same type of problem. For software that is very complex yet easy to use there will always be problems developers will face, that’s why an online community is such a perfect way to communicate to achieve your goal.

Hello World!

Virtual worlds!  Coming into this new age of technology virtual worlds seem to be an ever growing thing. They allow the user to be captivated into a digital world that will let them experience and do things they wouldn’t be able to experience IRL (in real life). These worlds are normally online multiplayer games where people from all over the world can join and be together inside the virtual worlds. These worlds can be manipulated by the user to let other players enter and experience what others have made.

Virtual worlds are extremely interesting because of the amount of things you can do and create. The limits are endless, especially with a lot of other programs that are compatible with the virtual worlds and can help the user achieve their goal of creating whatever the user desires. I love being able to create and share content with other people to experience and try out themselves. Doing this also means they can enhance it and I can potentially learn from what they do.

Virtual worlds now are becoming a large trend not only in gaming but in the education side of things as well. They allow us to be immersed within a world that can teach us a lot about knew things we haven’t experienced before, for example they have used certain combat virtual worlds to train in the military for in field strategic moves that can greatly improve their chance of success.

The way that technology is improving and how rapidly it is improving within the past 10 years I think that the world will stretch deeper within the virtual world and try enhance the experience for people. Augmented reality is already showing promising signs of this with the Oculus rift. This allows the user to feel like they are inside the virtual world by giving a 360 degree field of vision.